"Collections" refers broadly to the numerous tools that creditors have at their disposal to receive payment from debtors who are not paying what they owe. There are many Washington, Missouri laws and regulations concerning the conduct of collections agencies, and what they can and cannot do in order to collect.
What if I Am Owed Money in Washington, Missouri?
If someone owes you money and refuses to pay it, you have various options at your disposal. However, when it comes to collecting their debts, creditors are governed by strict consumer protection rules. Violation of these rules while attempting to collect could hurt your chances at successfully recovering your money, and/or subject you to civil penalties.
For example, it should go without saying that creditors are not allowed to use threatened or actual violence when trying to collect. They are also not permitted to use abusive language to the debtor, or contact a third party about the debt.
Creditors may, however, send written demands for timely payment, along with an invoice that clearly lays out exactly what the debtor owes. If the debt is substantial, it might be worth it to hire a Washington, Missouri collection agency, which usually gets paid through a percentage of the debt collected. You should make sure, however, that the agency is trustworthy, and hasn't been cited for violations of consumer protection laws.
What if Someone Is Trying to Collect Money Against Me in Washington, Missouri?
If you truly owe the money that is being sought, and can afford to pay it, you should do so. If the collection caller is behaving in a cordial manner, you should try to do the same. In any case, the worst thing you can do is ignore the issue hoping that it will go away. It won't.
Your best option in Washington, Missouri might be to contact the creditor directly, and try to work out some type of new repayment plan. The sooner you do this, the more receptive to your ideas the creditor is likely to be. If this isn't successful, you can demand that the collectors stop contacting you by phone, and they will typically be obliged to do so. Of course, this doesn't make the debt go away, and you should only take this route if you are prepared to defend against a lawsuit from your creditors, since demanding that they stop contacting you usually leaves them with no other option but to sue.
If you have hired a lawyer in Washington, Missouri, they might advise that you file for bankruptcy. Of course, whether or not this is a good idea depends heavily on the facts of your specific case, so you should not do so until an attorney has reviewed the facts and determined that bankruptcy is a possible solution.
How Can a Washington, Missouri Collections Attorney Help?
If you think that a collection agency is engaging in unlawful tactics, you should call a local Washington, Missouri attorney, as you might have a claim for damages against the creditor or the collection agency.
Also, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, a good Missouri attorney can help guide you through the process.